Thoughts of the Church Fathers on John 6

The Gospel for this Sunday (18th Week of Ordinary Time, B) is John 6:24-35.

I was reading Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Cantena Aurea (The Golden Chain) which contains commentary of the Church Fathers on passages from the Gospel.

At verses 26 and 27, I saw two comments which seemed very relevant to today and once again an examination of conscience to those in Holy Orders:

Saint Gregory the Great: In their persons too our Lord condemns all those within the holy Church, who, when brought near to God by sacred Orders, do not seek the recompense of righteousness, but the interests of this present life. To follow our Lord, when filled with bread, is to use Holy Church as a means of livelihood; and to seek our Lord not for the miracle’s sake. but for the loaves, is to aspire to a religious office, not with a view to increase of grace, but to add to our worldly means.

Saint Bede the Venerable: They too seek Jesus, not for Jesus’ sake, but for something else, who ask in their prayers not for eternal, but temporal blessings. The mystical meaning is, that the conventicles of heretics are without the company of Christ and His disciples. And other ships coming is the sudden growth of heresies. By the crowd, which saw that Jesus was not there, or His disciples, are designated those who seeing the errors of heretics, leave them and turn to the true faith.

For the Cantena Aurea of the Gospel of John available online, click here. If you’d like to see the other Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke are also available online. There are lots of very helpful tidbits to help us unpack the words of the Gospels.

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